Discussion: Reviews and my PET PEEVES

Discussion

Hi Munchworms!

I’ve seen some people talk about it a bit lately, sometimes in comments and sometimes in an actual post, and I felt like giving a bit of a rant about this as well.

Prepare yourselves because my rants.. are.. epic!
No, they’re not.

It’s a simple and plain fact that we all have our own voice and style when it comes to writing reviews. There are a lot of ways to write one and that’s perfectly fine. There are, however, also a lot of things that can go wrong since not everybody likes every type of review and that’s okay. It’s personal. It’s taste. You can’t do anything about that.

Seriously, do not take anything I’m going to say personally because it is my opinion. Others will probably think differently about it!

BLURBS

I love it when people include the blurb of a book in their review. Simply because I might have heard of the book, might have seen the cover around but haven’t looked up what it’s about exactly. It’s the perfect moment to actually discover exactly that when I’m about to read a review!

HOWEVER. This does not mean that I like people pretty much summarizing the entire book themselves. Blurbs already give away so much and can contain spoilers as it is. Reviewers with a tendency of retelling the entire book? No, thank you. I do not need any more spoilers than those the blurb gave me. I’d like to read the book myself; not read your summarize and feel like picking it up myself is pointless since I know everything already.

NO RATINGS

This is a really personal one since I know there are plenty of reviewers who don’t give ratings when they write a review. That’s okay. But I, personally, really like it when you do. Especially if I read a lot of your reviews. It gives me a way to compare the books you loved to the books you liked pretty easily. That automatically gives me more insight into how much I’d like the book if I’ve read any of the others you reviewed.

Say you give book x four stars and I know I absolutely loved it, then you go ahead and give book y in the same genre five stars, I’ll know I definitely have to check it out!

See what I mean?

SPOILERS

Now, here’s the obvious one. You don’t need to summarize the entire book to still spoil a story. Sometimes it’s the simple mention of a certain subject that’s part of the book. That’s all it needs to be a spoiler.

“Oh, and the fact that x has that past definitely makes it more interesting!”

No. I did not want to know that. I wanted to find that out myself if I’d decide to pick up the book. Since, now I know, I’ll definitely remember it while reading and that might simply make other events so much more predictable?!

This, however, does not count when it comes towards triggers. I know I don’t do this enough myself, but I love people who actually mention the triggers present in a story. Sure, these can be spoilers. These are spoilers. But these are the spoilers a lot of us need to be able to cope with a story. Mental preparation is key when you’re sensitive to certain subjects.

GIF OVERLOAD

This simply hurts my eyes and distracts me from the actual review. I can’t help it. I’m no fan of gif’s and I never will be. They’re so.. slap-in-the-face and, to me, completely unnecessary. I can do without them. Really, I can. I see how it helps people convey certain emotions they had towards a novel but… Don’t go overboard? Please?

Again, these are my thoughts. Not everyone likes and dislikes the same things I do so don’t take this personally!

What are some peeves you have when it comes to reviews? What are things you absolutely love to see in them? Let’s talk about it!

Yep

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43 thoughts on “Discussion: Reviews and my PET PEEVES

    1. Ooh, you don’t have to change your ways because of my post! Others don’t mind reviews not having ratings at all. It’s a personal thing, haha.

      I can understand feeling bad about it, but I just see it as an easy way to show people how I felt about it without them having to read the entire review if they don’t have the time / don’t feel like it. 🙂

      Honestly, we all have our own ways of doing things!

      Like

    1. Right, definitely! I don’t get why people still can’t accept that we can all have our own opinions. If you can state WHY you think the way you do, that’s awesome. Even if I don’t agree. It simply gives food for fun discussions – not for bashing people.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great post Kathy!!
    Out of your list the only one that usually bothers me is a gif overload, I mean I don’t mind one in there but i’ve seen reviews just in gifs and some that just have WAYYYY to many and I just end up not reading it xD

    I love a blurb in a review, but then i get super confused when they write in even more detail in there actual review about the book, i’m always like waahhhh??

    But yeah, awesome post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with you on a lot of this, Kathy! I almost always skip the summary sections in reviews, because if I decide to eventually read it, I don’t want it to spoil myself ahead of time or know too much going in. But I agree – content warnings are not spoilers at all, and a lot of help to decide if a person even wants to read it based on what could be involved. And no ratings kill me either. Sometimes, I just want to know quickly whether or not I should spend my time with a book and if it’s a short review that just says it’s good, what does that mean??? Five star amazing or three start just okay?? And I liked what you said about using it as a comparison as well. I like to compare how we both feel about books to know how I need to move up the book on my TBR. Wonderful post, Kathy!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I always read the blurb before starting a new book but lately I’ve created this habit of not doing that anymore and going in mostly blind – unless I simply remember what it’s about, that is. I’ve found I tend to enjoy books way more and have less high expectations for them. Love it!

      Yup on the content / trigger warnings. Although I do know some people who feel like they don’t need warnings like that at all and find them spoiler-ish so that makes me wonder whether to mention them at the start or end of my reviews. Putting them at the start might spoil things for those people, but putting them at the end makes it so easy to overlook them.. Decisions, decisions!

      Thank you, Mandy! ❤

      Like

  3. I never give stars anymore. I could, since I rate stuff on GR, but I just don’t think a about it. Maybe I’ll start. But I know I need to do better about content warnings. I’ve been thinking about that. I guess I just need to get in the habit of putting it in the beginning of the review and not the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s something you yourself have to decide, haha. If you rather don’t include ratings, you simply don’t. 🙂
      I honestly always wonder where to put those warnings. Putting them at the start of a review might spoil things for people who feel like they don’t need trigger warnings but putting them at the end makes it easier to overlook them..

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well my biggest pet peeve is when people say absolutely nothing in their review. Like: I loved it it was so good. And that’s it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, I do know that I pretty much have some reviews like that but I don’t think any recent ones. I remember when I first started blogging that I just reallyreally loved a story but couldn’t pinpoint WHY. I just loved it and read it in no time. [By now I can’t even remember the book so.. maybe it wasn’t that amazing after all? :’)]

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a brilliant post, Kathy, I love it and have to say that I agree with most of these! I like when the synopsis of the book is included, but I don’t whenever the reviewer sums it up again in his/her/their reviews afterwards… I will just skip that part if that happens, honestly 🙂 I also agree about the ratings, I like seeing them on reviews to see quickly overall what they thought of the book. Obviously, to get all of their complex thoughts, we need to read the whole review, but I like how easy it is to see whether someone appreciated or didn’t appreciate a book at first hand 🙂
    On spoilers, I never write spoilery reviews, or tend to hide the spoilers if I do and I SO appreciate and want people to do the same haha. I agree that trigger warnings, if found, should be mentioned to 🙂
    And gifs kind of distract me from the review… I think I appreciate them more in discussions than reviews? I don’t know why? Is that strange? haha.
    Brilliant post 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      Writing your own summary is just.. dangerous. I think the chance of having spoilers in there is way too big compared to just using the blurb / synopsis in your review.
      Exactly!
      I was just thinking that earlier as well. I can see gifs working way better in discussion posts simply because they give something extra to a post like that. In reviews.. I just want people to use their words to explain what they felt / thought.

      Thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I also like it that reviews come with ratings so I know right away what to expect (I hate surprises). I do agree that 3 stars is still a good read as well so I wouldn’t be put off by a review with 3 stars. I kind of agree with you on all these points!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay for me being right, haha!

      I think it just depends on the reasons someone gives a book 3 stars. If there are valid reasons and I can see myself easily ignoring those or simply thinking “oh, that wouldn’t bother me at ALL.”, I would definitely be interested in reading the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with most of these. I don’t care for the blurbs and on the occasion that I read people’s reviews I tend to scroll right past the blurb and just right into the review. I do agree with you about people basically summarizing the book in their review though I can’t stand that. I’ve fallen victim to that approach a couple of times myself but hopefully I don’t do that anymore. The other one is the gif. Honestly I quickly glance at them and then just move on. I don’t really pay them all that much attention so they don’t bother me all that much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I already know what the book is about, I scroll right past the blurb as well, but I like it being there in the off-chance that I forgot what it’s about.
      I’ve noticed myself doing it a couple of times as well! Sometimes I only noticed weeks after posting my review and I feel like slapping myself but hey. We can’t be perfect at everything. 🙂
      Ooh, they distract me! Like, the constant moving of things when I’m trying to read is soo annoying.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I used to always read the blurbs. I mean I still read the blurbs on Goodreads and if it’s something I’m interested in I will add it to my Goodreads TBR and then. Ever read it again. I like going into a book not not too much about it after the first initial read of the synopsis. Yeah the movement is distracting. If I notice it’s distracting me I will scroll up or down to get it out of my sight while I finish reading the part I’m on.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been thinking about ratings recently… i always do one, but often thought whether it’s good or bad. I never really explained to anyone who i give out ratings, cuz i think it’s fairly self-explanatory. But then some people for example think that a rating of 3/5 is bad. But really, it isn’t.

    I’m being rated on a 1-5 scale at my job almost on a daily basis, and while it’s true that my boss would only take into account a rating of 4 or 5, a 3 is perfectly fine. A 3 means “meets expectations”. And for me if a book meets expectations, it’s definitely a good thing. I don’t need to be wowed all the time. Sometimes i just want to feel like i got what i expected. 😀

    I’m also not a massive fan of the summary thing. Or when i can’t differentiate between the summary and the review.

    I usually do a sort of summary thing though when i didn’t like a book, cuz i feel the need to explain what i hated. But then i also warn about spoilers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I completely agree. I also believe that the rating doesn’t even matter in a way because it’s WHY you didn’t give a higher / lower rating that matters. I’ve had reviews on books that I disliked and people commenting that it sounds like it would definitely be something they’d enjoy. My low rating didn’t change a thing about that because they liked the things I disliked about it.

      A 3 for me is basically saying “it’s okay but I had some issues”.
      Being rated like that at your job must be hard sometimes though. I can’t imagine having to be rated; it would feel weird. And I’m sure half the department would make a competition out of it just for the sake of it – which sucks.

      I think writing your own summary for a book is very dangerous when it comes to spoilers. Sometimes you can warn all you want and people would still get mad because you spoiled something. :’)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I definitely agree with the summary thing! I actually learned you’re supposed to give a little summary of whatever you’re reviewing, but when it comes to books that’s such a big no for me. It’s so easy to accidentally spoil things… Even when I’m not summarising a book but just mentioning things in a review, I’m scared of giving away spoilers by accident. It’s such a tricky thing! I don’t usually mind gifs, but I also usually don’t get their relevance to the review. I guess it can work sometimes, but most of the time it doesn’t.

    Great post! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I learned about that too but I just go with adding the blurb. Like, at least they can’t blame ME for spoilers if there is something spoiled in there and they decided to read it? :’)
      For me gifts simply aren’t really relevant to a review. I can definitely see them helping to get feelings across in discussion posts for example, but reviews.. nah.

      Thank you! 🙂

      Like

  10. We have same dislikes when it comes to reviews. i personally don’t like too much gifs and i don’t like them in my posts. thumbs up to reviews with points or divided in sections. Also like reviews with highlights if not divided. Nice post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Agree with you! I try to(always space for improving) keep it simple, easy to read and “mobile friendly” (short) for the one commuting, being in a hurry, or the ones who are simply valuing information. Whenever I saw a huge review I just skimmed through it if I didn’t have the time to read it. I like to know the main thoughts of the author of the review, not the retelling of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Considering spoilers, hmmm, idk. Its hard to express your opinion in the review part without accidentally spoiling it a little?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I totally agree! While I not necessarily try to keep it very short, I do try to highlight the main things I talk about. That way someone can still skim my review and decide whether or not to read more in detail what I’m saying.

      Liked by 1 person

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